Michigan State did not get any favors from the selection committee. They are a #3 seed in a bracket with Louisville and Duke (a team that would be a #1 seed if Ryan Kelly was healthy all season).
We go through the bracket and pick potential matchups from the second round until the Final Four.
Who do you have making the Final Four from the Midwest Bracket? We pick our winners and help you fill out your bracket.
The Round of 32
#1 Louisville vs #8 Colorado State - To keep it short, Louisville won’t have any trouble with North Carolina A&T. On the other side, Colorado State/Missouri will be close. Missouri didn’t perform well towards the end of the season. CSU keeps it chalk and advances. When Louisville plays Colorado State, the experienced back-court of the Cardinals will be too much for CSU to handle. Louisville advances.
#5 Oklahoma State vs #4 Saint Louis - Oklahoma State will win a surprisingly close game with Oregon and Saint Louis slows down the offense and shuts New Mexico State in the (first) second-round. Oklahoma State is a very underrated team. I know Saint Louis is not a known commodity nationally, but they’ve become a “sexy” pick to go deep in the tournament. OKST’s Marcus Smart is very talented and will cause Saint Louis to make mistakes. I have Oklahoma State advancing to play Louisville.
#3 Michigan State vs #11 St. Mary’s - I predicted St. Mary’s to advance past Memphis in an earlier post. I just St. Mary’s point guard Matthew Dellavedova will make smart decisions and shut down Memphis guard Joe Jackson. On the other side, Michigan State will dominate Valparaiso, who are lucky to be in the field. Michigan State vs. St. Mary’s will be an interesting game to watch. St. Mary’s will stick around, but when a game is close, always pick the coach. Tom Izzo will have the Spartans ready and will win out with a strong second-half.
#2 Duke vs #7 Creighton - Creighton’s Doug McDermott will score at will against Cincinnati in the first-round. They will beat the Bearcats and ruin a lot of brackets who always pick the team from a power six conference. Duke’s path to the next round will be a lot easier. They will not let another #15 seed defeat them this year. Albany has no chance in that contest. Duke/Creighton will have a lot of future NBA talent on display. As much as I like McDermott, Duke is too deep for Creighton to keep up with. Duke will advance to the next round.
Sweet Sixteen Round
#1 Louisville vs #5 Oklahoma State - As much as I like OSU’s Marcus Smart and Markel Brown, Louisville’s Peyton Silva and Russ Smith will dominate this game. The Cardinals are on a great run and I don’t see the Cowboys stopping them.
#2 Duke vs #3 Michigan State - When Coach K & Tom Izzo face each other, it should make you tingle inside. Michigan State doesn’t have as much individual talent as in past years, but they are playing great as a team. Duke has its flaws, but they seem to correct them when Ryan Kelly is on the court. I sound like I have a man crush on him, but when he’s out there, Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry get more open looks. Duke will win this game, but Michigan State will be in it until the end.
Elite Eight Round
#1 Louisville vs #2 Duke - I went chalk. I know it’s fun to pick upsets and feel smart when they advance, but Louisville and Duke are too talented to not meet in the Elite Eight. This will be a fun game to watch. Louisville and Duke are filled with upperclassmen who have been in this situation before. These teams pair up so well that if either teams get a lucky bounce, they could win. I have to give a nod to Duke. Louisville can get three-pointer happy and if they aren’t dropping, they will lose to a good team. Duke can fall in love with their outside shot too, but they have more ways to score than Louisville. The low-post battle between Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng and Duke’s Mason Plumlee will dictate the winner of the game. I pick Duke to advance to the Final Four.
Final Four Winner:
#2 Duke Blue Devils
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